navigating life as a sailboat is a much more graceful way to live
Calling out the bulldozer in my heart, and naming it as such, has multiplied my self-awareness for how often this reckless piece of machinery ignites its engine and humms “Grrrr” to so many people:
- The acquaintance I haven’t heard from for years that comes out of the woodwork, asking for money.
- The dishonest patient with type II diabetes that consistently denies eating junk, yet labs say otherwise.
- The “idiot” that parks over the white line at Trader Joe’s, making it impossible to manuever a squirmy 9 month old baby into her car seat.
- The girl in the library wearing perfume (“Doesn’t she know that people are trying to study and people are allergic!!?”).
- The student behind me, eating during class out out of a glass container, with a constant nerve wrenching, nails down a chalkboard, scrape for every bite of food.
- The lady in the coffee shop opening her Ball canning jar of filtered water every ten minutes in the most unimaginably annoying manner possible.
- The pedestrian holding up traffic because he is TEXTING on his phone while he walks across the crosswalk.
With all this self-awareness, I have been remarkably mindful of how much energy the bulldozer requires. It eats up gas that could have been used to love, and the exhaust? It pollutes.
I needed a new instrument of locomotion to pull me out of the smog. Something that would inspire behavior that produced clean air to oxygenate my heart. Something generous and free flowing. Something that didn’t eat up my energy.
That’s when I saw the sailboat.
A sailboat still gets to where it needs to be, but it does so with much more grace and beauty than a beeping, rusty bulldozer. A sailboat requires patience and flexibility, which says to others, “I have time for you”. It symbolizes a gentleness that has a lot more give for others’ mistakes. It does not rely on itself to plow its own way, but instead, trusts the Wind to take it where it needs to go. It takes much more skill to steer a sailboat than it does to plow others over with a bulldozer.
How can you be more like a sailboat?